Local students given Community Scholarships

Thursday, 22 November 2007

16 local students have been helped to study at their local university, thanks to scholarships of a thousand pounds a year.

16 local students have been helped to study at their local university, thanks to scholarships of £1000 per year.

The students were nominated through their school or college for showing exceptional potential - through becoming role models, overcoming personal or social difficulties, or showing outstanding commitment to their studies. For some, this extra money can make all the difference when it comes to taking up their place at university and successfully completing their course.

The University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Beer presented cheques and gifts to this year's 16 Community Scholars, in the presence of family and friends, and teachers from local schools and colleges.

Victoria Edwards is studying midwifery at Brookes. With six children, she always knew that making a career change from teaching to midwifery would be a logistical challenge. But, having enrolled on an access to healthcare course at Abingdon and Witney College, she then faced even greater personal challenges when her father died unexpectedly and her husband lost his job. Nevertheless, she managed to be an outstanding student. "I couldn’t believe it when I was awarded a Community Scholarship,” says Victoria. “I didn’t know my tutors had put me forward! Having done a degree in the past, I’m not eligible for a student loan or grant. The scholarship money has made all the difference, as I’m not sure I’d have been able to take my place at university without it.”

Following the success of the first round of awards, from 2008 the scheme will be extended to include the Berkshire, Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire areas too. This means that 136 schools and colleges will each be able to nominate a student for a Community Scholarship.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Beer said: "The Community Scholarships are just one more way for Oxford Brookes to make a contribution to our region. We’re committed to helping as many local students as possible gain access to the top-quality education we offer. The scheme is one of the most recent steps the University has taken to break down the barriers to a university education." She continued: "Each of our Community Scholars has, in their own way, demonstrated great drive and determination. Many of their achievements have been motivated by generosity and concern for others. The University recognises and values these qualities as well as academic success."

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